Hello spring! We Casserole Gals are excited for warmer weather, longer days and spring flowers. So to help welcome in the season, we are sharing some favorite spring treats & recipes for the month of April.
The first recipe is straight from the Barefoot Contessa herself - Ina Garten's Lemon Bars. I (Kristen) am a big fan of the 'Contessa,' her show, and cookbooks. Her Lemon Bar recipe has been sitting in my to-do pile for quite a while -- so I was excited to try these sweet-tart treats for April's theme.
Very delicious & very easy!
Ina Garten's Lemon Bars
For the crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
For the filling:
6 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 Tb lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 6-8 lemons)
1 cup flour
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
2. Make crust: In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until light in color. Combine the flour and salt (in a separate bowl), and with the mixer on low slowly add the flour mixture to the butter until just mixed. Form into a ball, the press into the bottom and 1/2" up the sides of a 9x13x2 casserole dish. (She uses a 9x139x baking sheet which produces a much thinner lemon bar. Using a casserole dish produced almost a 'pie' of a bar!)
3. Bake crust for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Set to cool on a wire rack (still in the pan!) while you make the filling.
4. NOTE: The previous steps are from Ms. Garten - I did mine slightly different. I combined all the dry ingredients, then added the butter as I do for regular pie crust -- by hand! Then pressed into the pan and baked as directed. It was delicious!
5. Make filling. Remember to zest your lemons BEFORE juicing them! Then, in a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour. Pour over crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, until filling is set and edges are slightly browned. Let cool to room temperature before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting.
6. NOTE - I baked mine as directed and it seemed set, and was delicious (I tasted a little spoonful!) but wasn't as set as I would like for cutting uniform squares or triangles. I baked 8-10 more minutes, THEN let it cool completely and cut. It was much firmer.
~These were wonderful and instantly devoured! I sent several with my husband to work, big hit! I will definitely make this recipe during the spring and summer. It would be wonderful served with fresh fruit.
Cooking everything in casserole dishes!
With busy lives & sometimes quick meals, we mom & daughters team are always looking for healthy, tasty & convenient dishes to serve our family. So, please join us as we share everything from appetizers to main dishes & desserts!